Council general manager Garry Styles has defended the cost projections for the $47 million Macquarie pipeline saying council had taken a diligent approach to the assessment project.
Mr Styles’s comments follow concerns from deputy mayor Jeff Whitton that council staff would be unable to complete the project on budget.
“Council has tested the cost projections of this project on several occasions during the assessment process and at each stage the price has come back at $47 million,” Mr Styles said.
He said all nine companies council had engaged in early tenderer involvement for the construction of the project had confirmed prices that will bring the project in under $47 million.
“All these companies have relevant experience,” he said.
“It is council’s intention to deliver water security to Orange at the best possible value for the residents of the city and where possible address Cr Whitton’s concerns.”
Infrastructure chair councillor Sam Romano said he was disappointed in Cr Whitton’s criticism of the staff’s capabilities.
“I look it as scaremongering,” he said.
“We can’t say we’re too scared to do the job
“We’ve spent a lot of money on this with environmental impact studies and design.”
Mr Styles acknowledged that the delivery of a couple of council projects had been criticised, citing the bypass and the pool.
“But it should be noted these projects remain within 10 per cent of budget, which is an acceptable industry standard,” he said.
Mr Styles said projects that were on budget including the Spring Creek Dam upgrade, the new PCYC and the stormwater harvesting projects were rarely mentioned.
He also defended council staff saying complex infrastructure projects across both public and private sectors could have challenges that impact on budget and timelines.